Dietary Lactobacillus plantarum ST-III alleviates the toxic effects of triclosan on zebrafish (Danio rerio) via gut microbiota modulation

Fish Shellfish Immunol. 2019 Jan;84:1157-1169. doi: 10.1016/j.fsi.2018.11.007. Epub 2018 Nov 10.


The probiotics, Lactobacillus plantarum ST-III, plays an important role in modulating microbiota and alleviating intestinal metabolic disorders. Herein, we reported that Lactobacillus increases biodiversity of zebrafish gut flora, and attenuates toxic effects from chronic triclosan (TCS) exposure. Lactobacillus-feeding recovered the species and amount of microorganisms in the intestines of zebrafish, and inhibited toxin production by saprophytic bacterial growth. Abnormal physiological indexes and malonaldeyhde content resulting from TCS exposure were effectively alleviated. Additionally, lipid-metabolism disorders, such as increased triglyceride and total cholesterol levels, were attenuated by a probiotics diet. The number of CD4+ T cell lymphocytes in the lamina propria of the duodenal mucosa was decreased in zebrafish receiving a Lactobacillus diet compared to the TCS-exposed group, showing a consistent expression trend for six immune genes (NF-κB, IL-1β, TNF-α, lysozyme, TLR4α, IL-10) in the intestinal mucosa. Histopathological observations of intestines, spleen and kidney showed that TCS exposure produced severe damage to the morphology and structure of immune and metabolism-related organs. Lactobacillus was capable of mitigating this damage, but bile salt hydrolase, an active extract of Lactobacillus, was not an effective mitigation strategy. The Lactobacillus-induced decrease in the number of inflammatory cells confirmed its role in preventing inflammatory injury. Three behavioral tests (T-maze, bottom dwelling and social interaction) indicated that a probiotics diet improved zebrafish movement and learning/memory capacity, effectively alleviating anxiety behavior due to TCS exposure. These findings inform development of beneficial strategies to alleviate intestinal metabolic syndromes and neurodegenerative diseases resulting from exposure to environmental contaminants through modifying gut flora with a probiotics diet.

Keywords: Attenuated abnormal behavior; Inflammation; Lactobacillus plantarum ST-III; Lipid metabolism; Metabolic disorder; Triclosan.

MeSH terms

  • Animal Feed / analysis
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / adverse effects*
  • Diet / veterinary
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / drug effects
  • Immunity, Mucosal / drug effects
  • Intestines / immunology
  • Lactobacillus plantarum / chemistry*
  • Lipid Metabolism / drug effects
  • Probiotics / chemistry
  • Probiotics / pharmacology*
  • Social Behavior
  • Swimming
  • Triclosan / adverse effects*
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / adverse effects*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • Triclosan